Beware of Foods that Harm Your Teeth

If you are what you eat, then your teeth will also benefit from what you don’t eat, or maybe what you don’t eat too much of.

What you eat eat and drink every day can be as important to your daily oral hygiene as flossing or brushing every day. Some foods you eat are considered tooth friendly choices. These foods can actually help lower cavities and keep gums healthy.

And then there are foods that don’t really have your teeth’s best interests in mind. They can erode tooth enamel, cause tooth decay and even promote gum disease.

These foods can harm your teeth and oral health.

These Foods Can Harm Your Oral Health!

  1. Goldfish + Saltine Crackers – Move over candy, there’s a new cavity causing heavy weight in your mouth. It’s now the cracker. Why? Crackers like Goldfish and Saltines are a simple starch, something the cavity causing bacteria in your mouth love. When the cracker remnants get stuck between your teeth, and then linger there, this becomes a bacteria party. This bacteria builds acids that will ear down your tooth enamel (cavities), and can also promote bad breath.
  2. Sugar Free Sodas – They don’t have any sugar, but diet sodas can still promote tooth decay and cavities, especially if they’re consumed daily. Because they’re high in acids, these drinks attack and wear down tooth enamel, your tooth’s natural shield from cavities. Overdoing it on sugar free sodas increases your risk for tooth decay and needing fillings.
  3. Potato Chips – The crunch sound of eating potato chips can be very satisfying, but consuming potato chips also brings a lot of starch into your mouth. As with crackers, this starch becomes sugar that gets stuck in or between the teeth, which feeds the bacteria in the plaque. Since nobody can eat just one, the acid production from the chips will compound. Tip: After you eat some, floss to remove the trapped particles.
  4. Sports Drinks – They may offer electrolytes to your body, but they’re also loaded with acids that can easily erode the enamel of your teeth. In fact, one study compared the impact of bathing human teeth in sports drinks to see how long it took to show signs of tooth decay. Only 5 days! Tip: If you can’t live without ‘em, try drinking plenty afterwards to help rinse your teeth and neutralize any of the energy drinks’ acids.
  5. Dried Fruits – They are natural, and they taste good, but they can be just as bad, or worse, for your teeth than eating candy. Why? Because they’re generally pretty sticky. They’ll get stuck between your teeth, so any cavity causing bacteria will continue to produce acids long after you’ve finished eating the dried fruit. Tip: Floss after you eat, if you can, and rinse with water.
  6. Kombucha – It offers probiotic benefits, but these drinks are also very high in acidity, which can lead to tooth erosion and cavities. Tip: Try drinking plenty of water as you drink your kombucha. This can help flush away some of the drink’s acids. Also, after you drink Kombucha, wait for about 30 minutes before you brush your teeth. The high acidity in this drink can weaken tooth enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to damage caused from your toothbrush.
  7. Alcohol – Grown up beverages all have one thing in common: They dry out your mouth. A dry mouth means low saliva. What’s the big deal with low saliva? Saliva keeps your teeth and gums healthy. It prevents food from sticking to your teeth and it helps flush away food particles. Your saliva’s antibacterial properties even protect your teeth from tooth decay. Wine, beer and cider are also high in acids, which can erode your tooth enamel, which can lead to tooth sensitivity. Adding sugars and acidic ingredients to 1 mixed drink – hello Margarita – can also be a party foul to the health of your teeth. Tip: Keeping a glass of water nearby to drink with your adult beverage will keep your mouth hydrated. Remember to drink plenty of water and use fluoride rinses and oral hydration solutions as needed.

Everything in Moderation + Your Teeth Will Appreciate It!

Do you have to say no? Life’s short. These foods & beverages can harm your teeth, but that doesn’t mean you have to give them up. Practice moderation and add-in a little extra daily oral hygiene support – brushing and flossing.

Be mindful when you can to rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking these foods, stay well hydrated, and add some tooth friendly foods into your daily diet too.

Most importantly, don’t miss your routine preventative care check-ups and cleanings!

Has it been a while since you visited a dentist? Don’t let life get in the way of your oral health & a beautiful smile! Please call us at (206) 242-0066 to schedule your dental exam or request an appointment here!

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